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thence to page 11, is principally occupied by an account of the school in which he was educated till the age of fourteen:--not for the purpose of marking his improvement there, or of noticing any plan of discipline or instruction worthy to be imitated or avoided; but to give an account of the amusements of the children; to wit, that there was a brook near the school where they fished
that they made seves ral little pools by damming up the water, to preserve their fish in that bird's-nesting, nutting, sliding, and other country sports, were their common recreations——that each boy had some kind of singing bird, which occasioned a medley of noises sufficient to stun the ears of a person unaccustomed to such music:-then follows an episode of two linnets that were very fond of each other:-then the sports of the boys are resumed, and we are informed that they used to jump over hedges and ditches after the hunters, by the assistance of long poles—that in summer they were encouraged to bathe and swim, and to shoot with bows and arrows:-at length, in page 11, Lettsom is taken away from school, on the death of his father.
Lettsom was so early sensible of the want of a good memory, that at this time (being in his 18th year) he availed himself of notes, and con. structed tables, to assist it; and by often reverting to them, the impres. sions that he wished more particularly to retain, were rendered so strong as rarely to elude recollection. Thus, with moderate powers of mind, he was enabled to supply by industry and art, what nature had denied him. By the construction of tables, he surmounted many difficulties which occurred in the course of his attention to anatomy, and was thus prepared the better to understand what he had collected by reading.'
It is a pity we have no specimen of, or any further information concerning these tables or their construction. The contrivances of literary men to abridge labour, and facilitate the means of acquiring knowledge, are of great importance to the literary world, when those means prove successful; and if Mr. Pettigrew had bestowed half the time on this subject that he has done on the common sports of Lettsom's school boy companions, he would have done his friend, his book, and himself more credit, and his readers more service.
In pages 18 and 19, notice is taken of some women whom Dr. Lettsom was acquainted with in early life; Mary Morris, Deborah Barnet, and Mary Fothergill; the two latter, female preachers in the society of friends. Of the former Mr. Pettigrew gives the following account:
• Thus his time glided smoothly away. His chief acquaintances were the Birckbecks, who, from a state of comparative indigence, rose to great opulence; but who never abused or disgraced their riches by pride, extravagance, or want of charity. With Miss Mary Morris, who afterwards married Dr. Knowles, and settled in London, he enjoyed an intimate friendship; and they occasionally interchanged pieces of poetry, in the construction of which she was much the superior. She excelled also in epistolary correspondence; and in her conversation there was a sprightliness and poignancy which riveted and gratified the attention of every hearer. Miss Morris was once introduced to the king, and was reward. ed by his majesty, for her great ingenuity in needle-work. She exécu. ted an excellent likeness of the monarch in worsted, which is now in one
of the royal palaces. She was very careless in her dress, sometimes to an unpleasant degree.'
Mr. Pettigrew, we presume, supposes that a piece of poetry can be constructed on the same mechanical principles with a piece of machinery. Indeed neither Dr. Lettsom or Mary Morris were ever guilty of constructing poetry: the former was a very bad, the latter a very tolerable rhymer. With Mary Morris, better known by the name of Molly Knowles, the writer of this article was for many years acquainted, on the introduction of their mutual friend, John Henderson, of Hengham, near Bristol, afterwards of Pembroke College, Oxford, who died at the age of about twenty-six, with more literary attainments than almost any man of the same age in his time. Molly Knowles had a cultivated understanding, that rendered her worthy of being acquainted with such a man as Henderson; and was indeed superior to Dr. Lettsom, not only in the construction of poetry, but in every quality of mind and application of talent. At the death of her husband, Dr. Knowles of Lombard-street, she was reduced to poverty, but maintained herself chiefly by her exquisite skill in needle-work, and was the esteemed companion of most of the literati of her day. Her argument with Dr. Johnson on the comparative scale of female capacity, has been published, and is well known. Of what use is it to the world to detail of such a woman that her dress was neglected? The writer of this article had opportunities enough for remark, but never observed her dress unpleasantly neglected, or ever heard of it being so; and he was at least as well acquainted with Molly Knowles and her friends, as Mr. Pettigrew. But was there nothing to be told of such a woman save this trifling anecdote of scandal?
It is in this way that men of the world become disgusted at promiscuous introductions, and repulsive towards strangers; who visit too often, like the spies of a strange country, merely to espy the nakedness of the land. It is in this way that the trifier Brydone has done infinite harm in Italy to his countrymen, by retailing the confidential manners and communications of the persons to whom he was introduced; and in America, no one who has read the shameful tittle tattle and silly scandal of Chastelleux and Liancourt, but must receive with prudent coldness the introduction of any traveller from the same nation. Such men are nuisances in society: they repress the freedom of communication, they prevent the openheartedness of reception, and change the kindness of hospitality into the caution of mere civility. When Mr. Pettigrew visited Mrs. Knowles, or collected anecdotes of this extraordinary woman, the extent of his observation could reach no further than the negligence of her dress! Such a man is truly worthy of being Lettsom's biographer. His remarks on Dr. Akenside, are conceived in the same spirit.
In the year 1768 Dr. Lettsom returned to Tortola, and there liberated all the slaves on his part of the estate, to the number of about fifty: an action that spoke unequivocally in favour of the goodness of his heart, but not of his prudence. His remarks on the neces.
sity of gradual emancipation in the next page, are the result of good sense and mature reflection.
The value of Dr. Lettsom's medical knowledge, at the age of twenty-eight, may be judged of from the following account of his proposed method of treating fevers, “ such as often prove fatal within the tropics, and in warm climates and seasons generally.??
* I. To take off the fever by removing the spasm; and, • II. To strengthen the system against the recurrence of the fever.
"To answer these indications, he recommended the promotion of perspiration by the application of heat, by means of the warm bath, heated bricks, &c. Internally a combination of emetic tartar, with opium, to produce nausea or vomiting. If symptoms of inflammation be present, bleeding will be necessary. Upon a remission being obtained, he proposed to exhibit the Peruvian bark to prevent a recurrence of the disease.
• This sketch will serve to show the degree of attention and interest with which he viewed his professional pursuits, and his anxious desire to loosen the trammels which habit and custom had too long and injuriously fixed.
Such is the extent of Mr. Pettigrew's medical knowledge in 1817, after he (like Dr. Lettsom) has thrown off the trammels of habit and custom.
In the title page of this compilation, we have a list of the titles of Mr. Pettigrew the editor: in page 99 of the Life we have the. following list of titles of Dr. Lettsom himself:
• In this year (1783) Dr. Lettsom appears to have been fully engaged in his profession. Each succeeding year, for a considerable time, seemed to increase the reputation he had deservedly obtained. In this and following years he was chosen a member of various institutions. In 1786 he was elected an honorary member of the Colchester Medical Society. In 1788 an honorary member of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1789 he was chosen an honorary member of the Medical Societies of New York, and of Newhaven; of the Agricultural Society of Amsterdam; and of the Bath Agricultural Society, of which he was one of the earliest members. In 1790 he was made a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Montpellier, and an honorary member of the Medical Society there. He was also elected a member of the University of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was made a doctor of laws of that University. In 1791 he was chosen an honorary member of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh; a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh; an honorary member of the Massachusetts Humane Society; and a corresponding member of the Medical Society of Bristol. In 1792 he was chosen an honorary member of the Medical Society, Massachusetts; a member of the Pennsylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, the Relief of Free Negroes unlawfully held in bondage, and for improving the Condition of the African race; a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society; and a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Montpellier; for which honour he was indebted to the kindness of his friend M. Broussonet. In 1793 he was chosen an honorary member of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle; and of the Massachusetts Agricultural Society.
"The accession of so many honours in so short a space of time, is the best possible evidence of the almost universal opinion entertained respecting the literary, philosophical, and benevolent character and talents of Dr. Lettsom. Among them we observe several from America, a part of the world in which he was most highly respected; for the friends of science and humanity, however scattered, or diversified by religion and country, are the citizens of the same republic.'
This appearance of Dr. Lettsom, with blushing honours thick upon him affords at best but an equivocal testimony of the universal opinion entertained of Dr. Lettsom's literary, philosophical, and benevolent character and talents. A few well-timed presents and compliments, and a correspondent in each of these societies to propose him, was fully sufficient. Societies of this kind dispense their honorary memberships with very little consideration, and the expectation of a correspondent for their volume, is generally a sufficient inducement. A business managed with so much ease and certainty, would not be neglected by Dr. Lettsom, who was anxious after this kind of titular popularity. Indeed, he forced his son into situations to attract popular notice, at an age, and in a manner, that can only be explained by his own anxiety after it. This appears by the following paragraph in one of his letters respecting his eldest child, John Miers Lettsom, (See page 45, and the Letter to Dr. Cuming, dated May 31, 1783. Letters, page 41.) Speaking of his son, Dr. Lettsom says, “I have made him a governor of many charities, whose meetings he attends, and votes like an experienced member.' This son was at that time about ten years of age! But a governor's subscription was sufficient to give him the title, and the sum was of little importance compared to the object. To teach a child the love of charity--to initiate him early into the pleasure of doing good and give him opportunities of feeling the luxury of a kind action, purchased at the expense of self denial—is a part of education that a good and sensible parent will take frequent opportunities of inculcating by precept and by practice. But this is not to be done by the parent's subscribing sums of which the child knows not the value—by expending fifty guineas here, and fifty guineas there for the ostentatious pleasure of making a child of ten years of age a governor of half a dozen charities, and forcing him prematurely into the company of grave and elderly people, by buying the right of intruding him among them! This was manifestly making the charitable institutions in question, a stepping stone to family popularity, with a view to family prosperity. Real charity is never ostentatious; its motive is single, to do good: it is best rewarded when it has made a sacrifice of it own feelings or convenience, to effect the kind relief it wishes to afford. Benevolence does not consist in carelessly throwing away a small portion of superfluous wealth; still less in purchasîng titles and honours under the guise of charitable donation.
On the first of November 1815, Dr. Lettsom died. His biographer allows, to a certain degree, the charges of vanity so generally ascribed as a prominent feature of the doctor's character; and also that his attentions to the female part of his acquaintance, were the
result of an enthusiastic attachment to the fair sex, which led him into an unguardedness of behaviour, which subjected him to severe censure. It is a pity Mrs. Lettsom did not share more of this enthusiastic attachment, which indeed comported very ill with the character of a grave quaker, the father of a large family, who complains so much
of the very little time he has to spare for the ordinary duties of life. For instance:
Dr. Lettsom to Dr. Cuming, October 16, 1782: “I assure thee, since I arrived at the age of twenty-three, I have been in perpetual exertion in my profession. At that early period of life, I seldom prescribed for fewer than fifty, and often twice as many, before breakfast.'
In 1782 he received in fees three thousand six hundred pounds sterling; in 1784, three thousand nine hundred pounds; in 1785, four thousand and fifteen pounds; in 1786, four thousand five hundred pounds. From this time to 1800, he received annually from five to twelve thousand pounds. No wonder his very
sensible correspondent, Dr. Cuming, in a letter, dated February 8, 1783, observes
• When I hear of you, and others of the primates of the profession in London, visiting your fifty or a hundred patients in a day, I am thankful that I am not one of the number. Is it possible that, with all your learning, sagacity, and acuteness, you can, on such a superficial view and inquiry, be thoroughly instructed in all the circumstances of your patients' case and constitution? have you never occasion to lament (to use the words of our liturgy), that you have left undone those things which you ought to have done, or that you have done those things which you ought not to have done?
Dr. Lettsom to Dr. Cuming, October 12, 1782: Sometimes, for the space of a week, I cannot command twenty minutes' leisure in my own house.'
From a letter of Dr. Cuming's, dated March 18, 1783, it should seem that Dr. Lettsom was not only in the habit of sitting up till two or three in the morning, but recommended it as a very refreshing practice; as a restorative for the fatigues of the past day.'
Dr. Cuming very properly advises him to relinquish his noctur, nal lucubrations and convivialities, and to go to bed with his wife and family at eleven o'clock.
Dr. Lettsom to Dr. Johnstone, February 22, 1800: As the chief of my writing is managed in my carriage, allow me,' &c.
Dr. Lettsom to Dr. Walker, September 3, 1755: As I live in carriages, having seldom less than three pair of horses a day, and neglecting my meals, excepting once a week, when I dine with my wife:'-a rarity of intercourse, which elsewhere he defends, as very proper, to prevent a languor of affection between the lady and her husband. And yet this man of incessant occupation could find time to trifle away with the fair sex, and lay himself open to the world's reproach, for his too assiduous attentions to other women than his wife. All which, his friend, his admirer, his biographer, has taken care to register, for the honour of Dr. Lettsom and the